Video: FAIL! Pronouncing English sewing words is HARD!

August 5, 2018 23 Comments

Video: FAIL! Pronouncing English sewing words is HARD!

August 5, 2018 23 Comments

If you have watched my videos for while, you probably noticed that I sometimes struggle with pronouncing English sewing words. But exactly how bad am I? To find out I decided to set up a challenge where I try to pronounce (hard for me) sewing words and then let the Google Translate Voice decide exactly how bad I am!


Now I don’t trust the robotic Google voice completely so I would love to hear your thoughts on the pronunciations too. You will also hear me speak the word I get the most comments/corrections on, it’s kinda basic, but who said learning a second language would be easy 🙂


I also wonder if there are higher standards held for certain nationalities when it comes to how well we speak English? From my European perspective, it seems like people hailing from The Netherlands and the Nordic/Scandinavian countries have more pressure to speak “correct” English compared to say those from Italy or France. Do French people also try to remove their accent? From my outsider perspective, they seem to embrace it and that others find it lovely too.


But in Sweden, most people try hard to hide their heritage and want to speak perfect English with a slightly American accent. Maybe we are all traumatized by the Swedish chef in The Muppet show? 😉 Plus Hollywood based Swedish actors, such as Joel Kinnaman, Alicia Wikander and the Skarsgård family, makes it seem so effortless, which raises the bar for sure.

I wonder if it is the same on other continents?


I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with this! Plus if you are from an English speaking country, is there a second language that you are expected to be good at?

Also, thank you for being such a great audience and following along a sewing YouTuber that is not fluent in English! I sometimes feel like an odd bird in the sewing vlogger community since most English speaking ones have it as their first language. And it is definitely nerve-wracking to put oneself out there when the language is a bit of a barrier.

Johanna Lundström

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  • del August 5, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    You did a great job with your pronunciations! As someone who only speaks English, I admire people who are multi-lingual. By the way, I think your pronunciation of haberdashery was correct and google translate was wrong.

    • Johanna August 6, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Oh, that Google thing really needs get better at sewing 😀 I do feel validated now that I wasn’t as far off as I thought when I trusted Google

  • Sarah August 5, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Google’s pronunciation of “thimble” was not clear. You had it right with the “th” sound, it is not “timble.” Overall though, I’ve never really noticed any pronunciation trouble with your videos; you sound quite fluent and correct to me! 🙂

    • Johanna August 6, 2018 at 10:29 am

      It’s so strange that Google couldn’t get that word 100% right, it’s such a simple word. And thank you, I do feel self-conscious still sometimes, but it has gotten better. The first videos were painful to edit, but now I just try to embrace it 🙂

  • Karey August 6, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Agree with above. There were a couple of others that Google was dodgy on. Awl should have or sound. But need list of words to remember rest. I’m trying to learn few languages (and brush up high school French) on duolingo and pronunciation is hard.

    • Johanna August 6, 2018 at 10:30 am

      I’m really disappointed in how Google treats sewing 😉 It totally led me astray!

  • ebmozo August 6, 2018 at 2:20 am

    With our current global perspective, everyone allows, or should allow, for differences in English pronunciation. The same goes for native English speakers who try to speak a foreign language. Fluency in another language is always amazing and excellent, but it is not something that should be imposed. When I listen to you, I find nothing wrong with your pronunciation. Or if I detect a nuance in your accent, I just find it charming. If I tried to speak your language, I would probably suck at it. It would take years and years of living in your country for me to learn to speak Swedish, and even then, I would not be as good as you are at English. Let’s enjoy the cultural diversity that living in this Internet age offers. Isn’t it amazing that you can be in Sweden and share your sewing skills with me in the Philippines? What is even more amazing is that we understand each other because of English, which is not our first language. Cheers!

    • Johanna August 6, 2018 at 10:33 am

      You bring up such valid points, why do set such high standards instead of embracing the fact that we are a global crowd with our ways of speaking. And yes, having those international connections is such an amazing thing. I love that we can connect over our shared interest and learn from each other!

  • Denise August 6, 2018 at 3:23 am

    Your “thimble” was better than Google’s “thimble”. And you used appropriate, normal English reading skills to pronounce “gauge”. It just happens that it’s not pronounced the way it’s written because English is ridiculous. “Awl” is not pronounced really that differently from “all”. No reason why.

    I love listening to you on videos. I suppose you could think, “I’m going sewing,” to remember how “sewing” is pronounced, but I agree part of the fun in listening to people from other countries is to hear the flavor language takes when others speak it.

  • Genevieve August 6, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I love your accent and don’t feel bothered by any mispronunciations you may make. English is surely not an easy language to learn to read, write or speak! so I am impressed by other foreign language speakers who make the effort.

    My, admittedly limited, exposure to Swedish speakers other than you so far has been a YouTube gamer called Rythian (whom I love to bits) and his English is often better than his British counterparts, a situation which I find rather amusing.

    I’m from South Africa where we have 11 official languages, but the 2 main ones are English and Afrikaans. Both are taught in most schools, but many of us find it challenging to speak either one or the other correctly. I have to make a conscientious effort to practice my Afrikaans regularly to retain some coherence with language and pronunciation.

    • Johanna August 7, 2018 at 2:58 pm

      Wow, 11 official languages, that brings it to another level! It’s interesting to hear that even though you learn two langues from the start, it’s still hard to be a master of both. I suppose it all depends on what is spoken at home and in the community. We have quite a few gamers that has been able to make it while speaking English, I interviewed another Swedish YouTube gamer many years ago and was impressed on how great he was at English

  • Summerflies August 6, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I think your spoken English is terrific and wonder at any of my Swedish pronunciation: Ikea, Abba, I have no others. Pathetic. I love that your trademark is you ‘sewing’ word. Differentiation is the name of the marketing game! Armsyce is a really difficult word and have to admit I was never sure how to say it myself and always doubt my spelling. I love my awl too.

    • Johanna August 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      Lol, yes! Now I need to make sure I don’t ever learn it correctly. I watch a YouTuber from Chile that is also speaking English, and her accent is part of what makes her stand out for sure, and I wonder what would happen if she became perfect at pronouncing English.

  • Chris Griffin August 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Given the number of differences between American and British English, I always just assume anyone from Europe is using British! Heck, we cannot agree on how to say things in America, so I don’t throw stones at anyone trying a second language.
    Personally, I love your videos. You experiment so bravely with your sewing and you’re so generous with your knowledge! I’m grateful!
    Also, I said toile wrong for about 3 years before someone corrected me. Turns out it does not sound like “toil” or “soil” but “twal”. Insane! I am certain I have many more words I can read better than I can say them!

    • Johanna August 7, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      Thank you for the kind words! Yes I can imagine toile being a bit of a puzzle, as it’s French from the start but seem to be widely used internationally. It’s what we call it in Sweden too, whereas muslin is just referring to the fabric and not a test garment.

  • Eliz~ August 6, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    How funny!! :o) I do hear your British accent (with your Swedish accent too) I did not realize that is how you learned!! I always assume that the person must have attended British College or lived in Britain to get that!!!
    You do a great job. You speak English very well. I pronounce awl – as all. No w sound. So we too say things differently! I never even noticed your pronouncing sewing wrong.
    p.s. I’m in Minnesota USA, lots of Swedish people here. :o) And Norwegians, my step-Grandpa spoke Norwegian first even though he was born here, his parents were born in Norway. I’m Finnish, but mostly British- ha! ha!

    • Johanna August 7, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      Cool to hear that you live in the Nordic center of the US. The emigrant movement is such a pivotal part of our history, we had like over a million people leaving Sweden for North America, that was a substantial chunk of our total population at the time!

  • Judys August 6, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Love your wonderful use of the crazy English language ! Google is certainly not the best at pronunciation……

    • Johanna August 7, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Yes, I have totally lost faith in Googles ability to understand sewing lingo 😉

  • Sam the Aussie August 7, 2018 at 11:54 am

    I enjoy listening to you speak. I only speak Australia ‘English’ – 🙂
    Sam the Aussie

    • Johanna August 7, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      I’ll admit, Aussie English is my favorite type of English, your accent is the best!

  • Myra August 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    You did a great job in your pronunciations! As I mentioned on your YT channel, I get stumped on some of these words too and there are a few others that get me “tongue tied” too! So you are in good company!

    • Johanna August 7, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      That is comforting to hear! I guess we don’t learn many sewing words in school, so no wonder it is tricky for us!

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